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by Stephen Downes
April 28, 2008

Impress Your Friends and Co-Workers: Obscure Firefox Keyword Search
Go to my home page and right-click in the search form at the top of the page (or ctl-click if you;re on a Mac). Select 'Add keyword for this search'. In the form that pops up, type 'downes' and 'downes' in the two fields. You're done. Now you can search for the best in online learning simply by typing 'downes whatever' (where 'whatever' is what you're searching for) in your browser's address bar. Thanks to Alan Levine for the tip. Alan Levine, CogDogBlog, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

Content Syndication with Case-Hardened JavaScript
I spent some very productive time over the weekend working through the example described in this post (the content is first-rate, but the author has obviously never studied design). And while some people pooh-poohed my suggestion last week that JSON may replace XML, I think it is worth taking the time to look at work like this before drawing a naive conclusion on the matter. Here is my sample page from the exercise, including a JSON search of Kent Brewster, Werbsite, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Y!Open: Rewiring Yahoo Into a Macro Social Network
One of the interesting subtexts in the incessant Microsoft vs Yahoo saga is what it's doing to Yahoo's social networking services. Obviously, if Yahoo is swallowed by Microsoft, user accounts will disappear into the Black Hole of Redmond. In the mean time, making personal information open - and mobile - may offer a unique sort of poison pill for Yahoo. If Microsoft can't count on lock-in, how much will they value the acquisition? And thus we read that "Yahoo unveiled a new and bold strategy to join up its Internet properties into one giant macro social network." Steve O'Hear, ZD Net, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

LearnHub Integrates CC Licensing
LearnHub is a "new online social learning network" that decided "to go Creative Commons" this week. That's one way to advertise - embrace Creative Commons and then convince someone with the Creative Commons initiative to blog about it. "LearnHub is a network of communities, each one built around a specific subject (ex. Algebra, History, Software Development). Search to find a community that fits your interest." Not sure what the commitment to Creative Commons is - "LearnHub is free to use. However, teachers may charge a fee for certain courses and for tutoring." Anyhow, it's an interesting effort, with some community features worth noting, such as the 'authorities' section. Jane Park, Creative Commons, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Uninvited to the Public Policy Forum Symposium
It is unclear why the ostensibly neutral Public Policy Forum remove Howard Knopf from the program of an upcoming forum on copyright in Canada, but most observers agree it wasn't benign. Writes Knopf, "It seems that strong pressure was brought to bear on PPF to have me removed from the program and that PPF capitulated." Knopf had intended to present a paper that "documents several weaknesses in American copyright law and some 15 areas in which Canadian copyright law is already stronger and better than American law." Remaining on the program is Glen Bloom, a registered lobbyist for Time Canada Ltd., Warner Bros. Entertainment Canada Inc., AOL Canada Inc., and The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association. More coverage from TechDirt and Michael Geist (who also remains on the program). Howard Knopf, Excess Copyright, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

Comprehensive List of Low-Cost Ultraportables
This list gets longer every day. The era of ubiquitous computing is basically here. This really is anj impressive list. Via Doug Dickenson. Brad Linder, Liliputing, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: ] [Comment]

The Mac Jedi'S Homebrew Mobile Commander
While I appreciate the technical innovation - and enormous cost savings - behind this mobile Mac Commander, I can't say I approve of video conferencing while driving. Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

A Few Observations On One Laptop Per Child From Nepal
Bibek Paudel, from the Nepal OLPC initiative, makes some telling points. "A top down approach where some guy in Boston teaches us how to change things in our neighbourhood is never likely to understand and respect our situation and problems. He has other priorities." And, "I wish someone starts a fork of Sugar and everything OLPC. Why not Walter Bender? Start a fork. Or else the people at OLPC, if you have all the democracy and its powers, why don't you remove such people who are moving away from the OLPC's original principles?" Bibek Paudel, One Laptop Per Child News, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

Rich Tags: Cross-Repository Browsing
This is a useful idea (that shouldn't be necessary, but I digress...). "We combine a variety of information retrieval techniques to determine categories of papers, to enable cross-repository browsing by category. The browsing and exploration of this metadata is achieved through a multi-faceted dynamic exploration interface. Social interaction features have also been added to enable cross-repository tagging, commenting and sharing of papers into groups." Many, many more papers (144 in all) are available at the Third International Conference on Open Repositories website. Daniel Smith and Joe Lambert, OR08 Publications, April 28, 2008 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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